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Fall is probably the best time to visit a park. I know you may be thinking that spring is a close second but who can resist the autumnal hues? Certainly not me. Although I love summer, witnessing the change of seasons and embracing all the lovely things that come with (hello hot chocolate!) makes me happy. And this was exactly what I felt when I last visited the Bois de Boulogne in Paris that time of the year.

After treating ourselves to some delicious pastries at La Patisserie des Rêves, my partner in crime and I took a walk in this beautiful park along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement. The Bois de Boulogne is actually the second largest park in Paris, so there are loads of things to see and do. Our plan was to stroll around, enjoy the great weather and take a few pictures but as soon as we saw the little boats available for hire, we couldn’t resist. This is actually something we love doing whenever we get the chance, so it has become a little tradition of ours. Rowing in Lac Inférieur was really fun and has been added ever since to our “favourite boat rides” list together with the ones we took in the Retiro park in Madrid, Central park in NYC and the Vlatva river in Prague. We celebrated with a quick drink at the Chalet des Iles, a lovely bar restaurant on one of the islands in the lake which has sadly closed in the meantime, which actually reminded me of the Chalet Robinson back in Brussels and comes highly recommended. 

Reading about the park and its history, I learnt that it was created between 1852 and 1858 during the reign of the Emperor Louis Napoleon and served as hunting grounds for the Kings of France. Nowadays it hosts the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil (which I still need to visit!), the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the Château de Bagatelle with its magnificent gardens, the Pré-Catelan and the Jardin d’Acclimatation. See, there are a ton of things to explore!

If you find yourselves in Paris looking for a quiet place to relax, the Bois de Boulogne is a great spot. It’s beautiful throughout the year but as you can tell by the pictures, it looks exceptionally good during fall. And so are the Place des Vosges, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and Jardin du Palais Royal by the way – there’s a reason why Paris is always a good idea!

Address: Bois de Boulogne, 75016 Paris, France 

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)